Custom Touches for Your Deck

build arbor

Building any of the basic decks featured on this site will provide an outdoor living space that you can enjoy for years. You can go one step (or a couple of them) further, however, and increase the usefulness of the deck and your enjoyment of it.

Projects in Custom Design Touches

Almost every aspect of deck structure can be added to, modified, or improved to make it more stylish and useful. Take a pergola, for example, which provides both shade and an attractive visual accent. It's shown in its most basic form, attached with two posts to one of the deck joists, on pages. On a larger structure this construction method may not be adequate. You might need more shade, your design or site might prohibit a side-mounted structure, or you might just want something more elaborate.

Perhaps your site doesn't offer enough privacy; add a screen. Maybe you can't find commercial seating and furnishings that meet your tastes and help you separate one deck space from another. In that case consider built-in benches.

These projects and others will help you customize your deck, providing you with design elements and structures that will enhance the appearance and practicality of your outdoor living space.

Like all aspects of good design, it's best to integrate these projects into your new deck from the start. But you can build almost all of these projects as retrofits if you want to upgrade an existing deck. You may have to remove some decking boards to add a four-post overhead, or dig footings and add additional posts for a privacy screen, but the extra effort will be worth it.

What's most important in both a new deck and an upgrade of an old one is that you build your enhancements so they appear to be an integral part of your deck and the landscape, reflecting your tastes and lifestyle. Details that define the overall style of your deck should be carried into the new structures. If you use cedar for your decking and railings, use cedar for your seating, too; pressure-treated lumber will look out of place. You can hide the new look of fresh wood in a retrofit by staining and sealing it to match the old. And if an old railing never looked quite right in the first place, you can replace it with a new style and use the old lumber elsewhere in your landscape for planters or benches.

One Hour or Less

Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin!